Tips for Parenting a Child with ADHD (cont.)

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Define schedules and routines

Clearly defined, while not rigid, schedules and routines are essential for children (as well as for teens and adults) with ADHD. Having an established, while not inflexible, pattern for getting ready in the mornings, preparing for bedtime, and managing after school homework and activities provides a sense of consistency and allows the child to know what to expect. It is also easier for the child to remember and follow rules and routines when these do not vary very often. It can be helpful for older children to have plenty of conspicuous clocks to use as cues for time management. Some parents find that the use of timers (for homework time, time to finish up play, etc.) helps for younger children.

To make the process more enjoyable or easier to remember, charts and checklists can be used that list the steps or tasks required for each time of day. For example, the "morning checklist" can include items like making the bed, brushing teeth, and helping prepare school lunch. Hang the checklists in a conspicuous place and allow your child to check off completed items as they are done, if he/she wishes.

Set clear rules and expectations

As with clearly defined schedules, attainable, clearly defined rules and expectations are also essential for kids with ADHD. In both school and at home, children with ADHD need a consistent and clearly defined set of rules. It can be helpful to create a list of rules for the home and post them in a place where the child can easily see them. It's very important to stick to the rules and provide fair and consistent rewards and consequences (see below) when the household rules are not followed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2014

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